The Fun Is Just Beginning: Busy week highlighted by rivalry games, spring practice


by - Senior Writer -
Clemson starts spring football practice Wednesday
Clemson starts spring football practice Wednesday

If you are a Clemson fan who enjoys all the sports that Clemson has to offer, this week is for you. If you really only follow football, this week is still for you.

One of the busiest sports weeks (and weekends) of the year occurs this week.

Let’s start with Clemson basketball. Brad Brownell’s squad has won three in a row, including Saturday’s thumping of Boston College on the road. I know a lot of people that wondered how this team could win two or three conference games this season, but here they are at 8-8 in the league with four games to play. That starts Tuesday at Georgia Tech and and at home Saturday against Florida State.

The Tigers look to be in the NIT at this point, but a bid to the NCAA Tournament isn’t entirely out of the question. If Clemson can make some noise in the final four games in the regular season (3-1 with a win over FSU?) and win two in the ACC Tournament, that puts them in the conversation for the NCAAs. But it all starts with a must-win at McCamish Pavilion Tuesday.

Clemson baseball hosts ETSU Tuesday at 4 pm as they look to continue their dominant early-season pitching. The Tigers swept Stony Brook this past weekend behind dominant pitching. Clemson pitchers gave up just that one run over the weekend and the team ERA dropped to 0.70 through the first seven games. Sunday’s run was unearned but stopped a scoreless streak that stood at 33 innings, the longest such streak since 1967 (38).

For the weekend, Clemson pitchers tossed 28 innings, gave up no earned runs, walked just five batters and tossed 43 strikeouts. In 64 innings pitched this season, Tiger pitching has given up just 36 hits, eight runs (only five are earned), walked 30 and struck out 93 batters while giving up just one homer.

This weekend is the annual rivalry series against the Gamecocks. The first game is Friday at 7 pm at Founders Park, game two is Saturday at 3 pm at Columbia’s Segra Park, and the finale is Sunday at 2 pm at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Gamecocks have scored a ton of runs so far this season, while Clemson has struggled to score. The Gamecocks have pitched well, too, but are 5-2 overall after dropping the weekend series to Northwestern.

Wednesday is when the Tigers start spring football practice. As head coach Dabo Swinney says, the Tigers were the last ones off the field (except for LSU) in January and will be one of the first ones back on the field this spring.

The media will be allowed to watch the early portion of both the Wednesday and Friday practices. We will be allowed to watch the early portions of drills, which means all eyes will be on the early enrollees like DJ Uiagalelei, Bryan Bresee, Trenton Simpson, RJ Mickens and the plenty of others, including offensive linemen like Mitchell Mayes and Bryn Tucker. The team practices Saturday but it’s also the All-Pro Dad day and isn’t open to the media. The team will practice again Monday and we will once again be able to watch the early portion of drills.

Clemson softball takes a step up in competition with the start of ACC play and hosting Georgia in a midweek game. The Tigers take on the Bulldogs Wednesday at 5 pm before hosting Virginia for a three-game series starting Friday. The first game is 6 pm Friday (I will probably leave football and head over to softball), the second game is 1 pm (with basketball at 4 pm and baseball at 3 pm), and the finale is set for Sunday at noon.

TigerNet plans to have someone on staff at each one of the events this week, which means the busy part of spring is upon us. That means the fun is just getting started.

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